Sharon Staviski's Journey in Higher Education
by Sharon Staviski
My story in higher education began long before I was a faculty member at MCTC. Rewind 31 years ago when I was a college student and earned an Associate’s Degree from what was then called “Maysville Community College”. Little did I know how higher education would continue to influence my life. I didn’t land that first job I was so sure I would get, so I pushed myself to the next level and continued my education at NKU. One year later, a job opportunity came my way thanks to a college professor who believed in me and recommended me for the position. For the next 6 years, I worked as a programmer/analyst for a software development company.
My next phase in life involved a break from my career to stay at home with my kids which was a time I would not trade for the world! During these years, however, I looked for ways to stay on top of ever-changing technology. My work experience and college degrees enabled me to start my own business in software development which I still operate today. The answer to that search also brought me back to MCTC. I taught a few Excel and Access classes for Workforce Solutions that grew into on-site employee trainings and a 5-year span in 17 counties of helping farmers diversify by learning computer skills. I could write a book on the many rewarding experiences that happened along the way! There’s something to be said of an 85-year-old farmer who wants to learn to operate a computer or a 20-year-old employee learning about Excel spreadsheets to help her advance to a supervisor position.
Now, fast forward to 2014 and yet another door opened at MCTC. Because of someone at MCTC who believed in me, I was encouraged to apply for a faculty position in Computer & Information Technology at MCTC and I am now wrapping up my 4th year as a college instructor! Because of the support and encouragement of my family, my colleagues at MCTC and professors at MSU, I also finished my Master’s Degree in 2017.
Through all of these life events, I have had the privilege of being the recipient and the giver of opportunities through higher education. A general definition of higher education is “continued learning beyond the basics and applying this knowledge to innovate and improve.” For me, higher education means even more. It has also been the people in higher education (professors, staff and students) who helped me find the “grit” to overcome failures and disappointments, to step out of my comfort zone, to always give my best effort and turn opportunities into success. Today, I tell “my story” to students, hoping it will inspire them to not give up and always work hard because you never know where your journey through higher education will take you.